The Hampton Development 4 story residential apartment building on Route 88 was pushed off – again.
Additionally, Duvie Holdings – 4 townhomes was also postponed.
A neighbor of the Spruce Street application just got up and said that Obed Gonzalez, one of the Zoning Board members, started working for his property management company last week and therefore, there’s a conflict and Mr. Gonzalez should not be allowed to vote on the application.
Mr. Gonzalez answered, “as of this moment, I am resigning from your company so I no longer work for you!”
Many neighbors came to the hearing.
The board said they will continue hearing Spruce Street on Aug 9.
They heard all (or most) of the opposition’s attorney’s and professional’s testimony.
On Aug 9 they will open the podium to all members of the public.
Afterwards, the board began the Covington application, but after half an hour they decided to close for the night and they said they will continue that also on Aug 9.
In short: no decisions were made on any application.
Two weeks ago, hearings on 3 big projects were postponed to tonight. In addition, a new project will be addressed tonight.
The original three items were:
1. Hampton Development LLC wants to construct a 4 story residential apartment building on Route 88 between Monmouth & Park Ave. The building will contain a total of 151 apartments, including one and two bedrooms apartments. The building will also contain “accessory uses” such as a shul, a gym, a recreational room, a business center, and a social hall.
Due to Lakewood’s wacky zoning laws, these “accessory uses” apparently don’t require parking, and the parking requirements for the apartments total 281. The applicant is proposing only 257, most of which would be in an underground garage.
Lakewood’s height limit in that zone is 45 feet. This application wants a variance for a 64-foot high building. He also wants a side yard setback variance of 0 feet where 10 feet is required. Lastly, the developer also wants a 9-foot front yard setback where 25 feet is required.
Oh, and one more thing: he is requesting a waiver from providing a sidewalk on the Route 88 frontage. Somehow, sidewalks are out of this applicant’s budget.
2. Bais Medrash of Pine Street wants to construct 2 shuls and 2 duplex units (4 houses plus basements) at the corner of Pine & MLK Drive (across from their current trailer shul). Their idea, reportedly, is to fund the construction of their shul by selling the duplexes.
It’s a great fundraising idea, though, interestingly, they requested a waiver from providing a traffic study.
Both shuls are deficient in parking spaces. One shul needs 26 spaces and they are providing 15, the other shul needs 17 and they are providing only 9.
It appears, that, one of the shuls will actually house the beis din that is currently housed in the First Commerce bank plaza.
Both duplex units are short on lot area, and one is deficient in lot width, front yard and side yard setbacks.
3. Covington Village Condominium Association previously received approval to construct 12 residential apartment buildings (with 30 apartments in each), on Locust Street near Vermont Avenue. This development is bordered to the west by Harrogate and it’s down the block from the Belz developments.
7 of those apartment buildings have already been constructed, and they are age-restricted. The remaining 5 have not been constructed yet.
This applicant is seeking a “simple” change to his approval – to lift the age restriction on the remaining 150 apartments waiting to be built.
4. 118 Ocean Avenue, LLC wants to build 9 houses on Vine & Spruce Street across Bais Kaila. This area is zoned for 1 house per 40,000 sq ft lot. This application is to build on approximately 10,000 sq ft lots!
Previously, the owner applied to build 10 homes here and after many neighbors came to oppose the application, the board – by one single vote – denied the application.
GL has already confirmed that there are many neighbors opposing these applications that plan on attending tonight’s public hearing.
5. Duvie Holdings – Ocean Avenue & Boulder Way. The applicant is requesting to build 4 townhomes. Previously, he applied to build 6 homes there, but, after numerous complaints from the neighbors, he backed down.
6. Congregation Maalos Hatorah, Chestnut Street, R-20 zone. This applicant is back once again with plans to extend Stamford Meadows. This zone doesn’t permit duplexes, but, he previously received a use variance for duplexes. He now needs final major subdivision approval, and he is currently applying to build a 22 duplex house unit development. Due to the many complaints about him now wanting to build a shul, he has agreed to build a shul in one of the basements.
GL has confirmed this applicant paid off the neighbors not to oppose this specific application. They will take the stand to say they support it.
7. David Herzog – north of Vermont Avenue, off of Chestnut Street. The applicant is proposing to build 20 new homes on as small as 13,000 sq ft lots where 20,000 sq ft lots are required.
The applicant originally planned to make the driveway only from the current dirt road of Caldwell. Apparently, after those neighbors complained the applicant switched to Vermont Avenue. The applicant also originally wanted a waiver from providing a traffic study, even though Chestnut Street is a very busy road
Last month the board Chairman told his Engineer that he must bring in a traffic study before his application can be heard.
Take a look at this traffic study! It explains why a 30-foot wide road will somehow be sufficient (though that doesn’t leave enough room for parking on both sides).
All the meetings are open to the public, and anyone who wants can speak on any specific application.
Two weeks ago, GL updated on the shuls and duplexes on Pine and MLK Drive, (item number 2 on the list) where one of the “shuls” will actually house the Bais Havaad Business Center (currently housed in the First Commerce Bank Plaza)
- The board asked what will be upstairs from the Bais Havaad, and the applicant’s attorney answered that there will be 8-9 offices. This is actually a very important issue because, besides for the beis din itself missing 8 parking spaces, they are not providing any additional parking for these offices.
- The main shul building has 15 parking spaces where 26 are required. The applicant’s attorney explained that “this shul has been operating for 3 years now with zero parking spaces, and also no parking problems, so obviously this shul will not cause any extra problems in the new building even with the parking variance”. After the meeting, a member of the public spoke with the attorney, who confirmed, that currently the shul only operates on Shabbos while the new shul will be used during the week as well. – of course, there are no parking issues!
Again, we are very curious to know why this applicant wants a waiver from providing a necessary traffic study.
The immediate neighbors of this proposed project came to oppose the application.
No one is anti-shuls or houses, but we all need smarter building – and we all need to play by the same set of rules.